For a few years, my husband has been longing to go to Berlin. As we were planning on a short trip for our third-year anniversary, we first hesitated between Rome and Berlin. We had both visited Rome but separately. But then, it made sense that it was better to go on an adventure and discover an unknown destination together – therefore, Berlin it was !
We had 4 days to discover the capital of Germany. I knew pretty much what I absolutely wanted to see and I am always planning a time frame for my upcoming trips (although I never respect it entirely as changes always happen). We used the most of our time and we even managed to get one day out of Berlin to visit Potsdam.
I must say however that I was quite disappointed with Berlin -and I think it’s the first time I have this feeling after one of my trips. The whole place felt cold, classic – even old, especially by the architecture. Let’s not forget that Berlin is quite a “new” city as everything was rebuilt after the WWII. I would have expected some colors or to feel that I am in one of the most advanced and powerful cities of the world, like one can easily feel in London or Paris. But everything was quite neutral. It didn’t made me want to come back to this place, like a lot of other cities did: Vienna, Prague or Dublin for instance. The time we had in this trip was wonderful but the place itself didn’t reach my expectations.
10:00am – Arrival at the airport. We took our suitcases and reached our hotel by public transportation (train and metro). I must say that public transportation in Berlin is very well built and easy to travel within the whole city. We bought day pass (according to the zones we needed day by day – it was cheaper for us to buy it this way). Once arrived, we had the pleasure to discover our beautiful hotel, the Park Plaza Wallstreet Mitte. As we arrived a bit early for check-in, we decided to leave our suitcases in the hotel and started exploring the city.
11:00 am – We could hardly start without visiting first the famous Alexanderplatz. This place has become with no surprise our most familiar place, as we came back there every single day. It is a very big central square with lots of restaurants, shops and train stations. In the center, you can admire the World Clock (or Urania Clock). Here too, I can’t understand why this place is not more busy or more attractive with big screens to make it a sort of small Time Square or Piccadilly… We still managed to enjoy ourselves at Dunkin’Donuts. Whoever knows my husband well knows that he can’t pass through a Dunkin’Donut shop without stepping in.
01:00 pm – I had booked us a table in one of the most appreciated restaurants of Berlin, Ristorante A Mano. We enjoyed our first lunch in an italian restaurant and we had a delicious time – the food was very quality, the service extremely professional and the price quite affordable!
03:00 pm – Back to our hotel, we finally proceeded to check-in and got the surprise of our lives when we discovered our rooms.
05:00 pm – The sun was getting down but it wouldn’t stop us from exploring the city. We book the tram and headed towards the Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe. It open in 2005 to commemorate the atrocities perpetrated during the WWII and all the Jewish people exterminated, especially in Germany but also in all Europe. It was very annoying for me to see both kids and adults run though the rocks and even jump between them, like it was some sort of a park. This is true that there is hardly any sign showing that it is a memorial – no tombs, no writings. But still, it was felt as a lack of respect for this holy place.
06:00 pm – Walking from the Memorial, we reached the Brandenburg Gate. This is really a wonder. It is so tall, imposing, fascinating. It is probably the thing I liked the most in Berlin – so much, that we kept coming back admiring it everyday.
08:00 pm – We ate dinner in the #1 Berlin restaurant, according to TripAdvisor’s reviews. It is a Thai restaurant with great food and very competitive prices. We liked it so much that we came back a second time during our trip. The only negative thing is that it can take up to a certain time before getting a table as it is very crowded – but that’s also the sign for a great place 😉
10:00 pm – After a bit of shopping in the Alexanderplatz (yes, again – hello big Primark!), it was time to head back to our hotel and have a good night of sleep.
DAY 2 OF OUR TRIP TO BERLIN IS COMING SOON